Poem: APC

Armored Personnel Carrier

10 tons of angry seaweed green, a weighty sight when

viewed from Dal Lake in a languidly rocking shikara

the APC’s slits, the narrowed eyes of a suspicious lover

the shikara’s school bus yellow contrasts with the drab compound

that the APC guards

an abandoned hotel, confiscated and re-purposed

makeshift sheet metal walls topped with coils of concertina wire

Beirut, bullets swapped for rocks

a ramshackle guard tower of framing timbers and plywood

is painted green and draped with a camo netting

that serves only to create shadows


remind the guards they are still in the Army

camouflage that doesn’t blend with a decrepit block hotel

transformed into a hive of paramilitary activity

Shikara on Dal Lake

Shikara on Dal Lake 

DAILY PHOTO: Shikara on Dal Lake

A shikara is a shallow-draft wooden boat commonly seen on lakes in Kashmir. It should not be confused with a Shakira, which is a Colombian pop star / belly-dancer. Asking for a Shakira ride, is a common–but potentially offensive–mistake. IMG_0470

Taken in July of 2016 on Dal Lake, Srinagar

Taken in July of 2016 on Dal Lake, Srinagar

IMG_0572 IMG_0629